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'Paint me a masterpiece,' Hobart plans seven new parks

Posted at 5:35 PM, Apr 25, 2024

HOBART (NBC 26) — There are more than half a dozen mostly empty green spaces in the Village of Hobart. Now, village officials say they have plans to recreate the space for the public to enjoy the outdoors.

  • See the view from above one wetland the village hopes to turn into a destination for recreation
  • Village Administrator Aaron Kramer says $400,000 is available for seven new parks and upgrades to another
  • Kramer says construction could begin as early as this summer

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story.)

Several mostly untouched green spaces in Hobart, like this one, are set for a face lift. I'm Pari Apostolakos here to share the village's latest parks development plan.

Plans are in the works for seven new village parks and upgrades to Four Seasons Park.

"We laid it out on the table and said 'Paint me a masterpiece. What do you want to do?'" Village Administrator Aaron Kramer said.

Kramer walked me through one of the potential sites.

"What are we imagining?" I asked him. "Where would things be located?"

"Well, we're sitting here in a spot right now that is, people drive past this every day," he said. "Hundreds, thousands of cars and they see this wooded area, and it's really a wetland."

Kramer says the wetland is shrinking because village stormwater drainage ponds are diverting water away. The village doesn't plan to accelerate the process but anticipates construction in the next three to five years.

"The thought was maybe a splash pad could go up in this end of the park as this fills in for more residents in this area and maybe additional walking trails," he said.

Other parks would include pickle ball courts, outdoor grills and dog parks.

Inde Arndt, a nanny, lives in the neighborhood.

"There are so many working families here and there's kids everywhere in the summer," she said while watching the little girl she cares for play outside. "So, being able to walk to a splash pad ... I mean that would be really significant to have something like that."

I ran into another neighbor, Jake Dahl, walking his dog, Charlie.

"[Would I use] walking trails, absolutely," he said. "[Me] and my fiancee, we try to take Charlie on walks constantly."

Kramer says the money would come from fees developers pay to build subdivisions. He says they have about $400,000 and will fund raise the rest if needed. On Monday, village officials will present plans to parks and recreation.

Kramer says some of the proposed projects could start as early as this summer. In Hobart, Pari Apostolakos NBC 26.